STRUCTUREThe Italian educational system is stronglycentralized
From 3 to 5 the NURSERY SCHOOLFrom 6 to 11 the PRIMARY SCHOOLFrom 11 to 14 the LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL (Scuola Media)From 14 to 19 the UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL
Compulsory education begins at age sixand ends at age fifteen, after the MiddleSchool Diploma and the first year ofupper secondary school
After the LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL, i.e. after 8 school yearsstudents can choose among several options:«Liceo Classico» focusing on humanities«Liceo Scientifico» focusing on sciences«Liceo Linguistico» focusing on foreign languages«Liceo Artistico» focusing on arts«Liceo Tecnologico» focusing on technical educationAll these High Schools provide the students the possibilities to faceany Faculty.«Technical High Schools» split into several tracks (Agricultural,Commercial, Industrial, Chemical, etc.)«Vocational High Schools» (for Hairdressers….)
High schools last FIVE years andconclude at the end of grade 13with a national final exam (“StateExam”)
Pecularities of the Italian School SystemAt the beginning of the first year of each school level (elementary,middle, highschool), the students are split up into Class groups which will bethe same for several years.The students of the same age do not mix to form different classgroups; they have lessons always in the same classroom, where thedifferent teachers turn over.
That’s because once students have chosen their track, syllabi are fixed, there isno (or very limited) options. (i.e. different languages, or religion vs. individualstudy or optional subject);• Classes last 60 minutes and take place (on average) only in the morning;• One teacher for each subject accompanies the same group of students forseveral years (three in middle school, between two and five in high school);The number of teaching hours per subject and the curricula are defined byministerial decree in the whole country.• While the subjects and hours must be the same for every school, the curriculaare only a sort of concise guide-line in order to reach the educational objectivesrequired by the system, through the didactic planning, which is mainly theteachers‘ task.